Thursday, March 28, 2013

What about MY marriage, Mr. Cooper?

Unless you've given up all media for Lent (and if you did, then you wouldn't be reading this today, would you?), you're aware of the arguments that took place in front of the Supreme Court of the United States this week. Tuesday's session focused on California's Prop 8 ban of same-sex marriages and on Wednesday the Court heard arguments related to the Defense of Marriage Act. For the record, I'm for marriage equality and like lots of other people, changed my Facebook profile picture to reflect that, although I saw this and thought it very funny:

As I watched news programs and read recaps of the court sessions, I was really struck by something. On Tuesday, Justice Elena Kagan asked Charles Cooper, the attorney representing Prop 8 supporters, this question: "It seems as though your principal argument is that same-sex and opposite-sex couples are not similarly situated because opposite-sex couples can procreate, same-sex couples cannot, and the State's principal interest is in regulating procreation. Is that basically correct?" And Cooper said that yes, it's correct.

Then some hilarity ensued in which Kagan said that maybe opposite-sex couples over the age of 55 shouldn't be allowed to marry because they "don't help us serve the government's interest in regulating procreation through marriage." And Cooper tried to say that it would be "very rare that both parties to the couple" over 55 would be infertile. To which Kagan had to give him a sex-ed lesson.

So here's my question: What about my opposite-sex marriage? I got married at 23 and at the time had every intention of having children. It wasn't in the cards for us and now I'm 45 and there will be no procreating because a) we're in our 40s and don't want to have babies at this point and b) a tiny little matter of the hysterectomy I had last summer. So should my marriage now be considered illegal?

You can say I'm being ridiculous, and maybe I am, but frankly, the argument that same-sex couples shouldn't marry because they "can't procreate" is ludicrous. Agree with me or don't, but I'm not sorry for taking that position.

Confessions of a Gila Monster

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The time our house was on a home tour

Aaron and I were fortunate enough to be able to build our dream house about six years ago. In September of 2009 we were asked to be on the Short North Tour of Homes. I got some great pictures from that weekend so I figured I'd share them here.

Look how tiny the landscaping looks!

First floor. We have concrete floors and sub-flooring as the ceiling so it looks kind of industrial.
The whole house is very open so most walls are white, but then we have accent walls (like the brown one in the living room).

Second floor: On top is the FROG (Finished Room Over Garage) which is even more "finished" now.
Bottom pictures are of the screened porch, my favorite space.

Bathrooms, in case you were unsure.

Aaron's side of the closet

My side of the closet
Yes, our closet is huge.

Top left: view down the hall to our bedroom; the rest of the pictures are the bedroom
Check out our kickass single blade ceiling fan. The room is open to the living room. Bottom right, there's now a TV where the picture is, and we got rid of the fake ficus plants.

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our home!

Stay Tuned,

Confessions of a Gila Monster

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Just Because...I get sucked into singing competitions

I used to love American Idol. I watched the first nine seasons and some of season ten, but once Simon left I was done. I know that some people enjoy the early auditions and all the lunatics who show up, but I would fast forward through those crazies and eventually I wouldn't even start watching until the Hollywood rounds.

When The Voice first premiered a couple years ago, I was intrigued by this idea of choosing artists based solely on their voices, without being able to see them. I watched the whole first season. The second season, I watched the blind auditions but then lost interest once the team competition began. I don't think I even watched season three.

Season four premiered last night and this time there are two new coaches: Shakira and Usher, replacing Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. That's partly why I decided to tune in again. Cee Lo kind of annoyed me. Now, I'm actually a fan of Christina; I think she has killer pipes and I've seen her in concert and girl is a Performer. I don't what's happened to her personally but I hope she gets her mojo back.

So I watched the premiere of season four and I'll stick around at least for awhile. I like the chemistry with these four coaches. So far they have a good-natured rivalry that I enjoy. I love watching the performers' faces when a chair turns around, and I feel so much for the ones who don't get any coaches to turn around. That has got to be devastating, but the coaches are really encouraging, and what really impresses me is how well some of the contestants handle it. I'd probably be a puddle.

Assuming it holds my interest, I'll probably do recaps here. (Although I'm really waiting for So You Think You Can Dance, which I adore.)

Stay Tuned,

Confessions of a Gila Monster

Monday, March 25, 2013

No Shenanigans Here

This was a weekend of nothing. Good thing, because I woke up Friday morning with some throat issue and I've been feeling crappy ever since. Aaron went out to watch basketball games while I alternately slept and watched TV/movies/games. I did go to church Sunday morning and judiciously chose the best times to sing. But other than that I've been on the couch in my biscuits and pleasures with the cats.

I tried to do some reading but I couldn't focus. Here's some of what I watched:

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - Charming movie with a superb cast and some great life lessons.

Once Upon a Time - on ABC Sundays at 8:00 ET - I didn't think I'd like this show as much as I do but ... I do. It's about fairytale characters who were cursed and are living in present day Maine with no memory of who they really are. I suggest watching season 1 on Netflix (it's in season 2 now).

Field of Dreams - Um, hello? In the late 80's, Kevin Costner was the bomb in my mind. We used to make a point of watching this movie every year at the start of baseball season. I hadn't seen it in a while until Sunday afternoon. Besides Kevin, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster? Yes, please.

The Following - I watched five episodes of this over the weekend. It's creepy and twisted and I love it. It's good to see Mr. Kyra Sedgwick on a regular basis.

Aaaannnnnnd, Monday morning we woke up to this. March 25th. For real.

Stay Tuned,

Confessions of a Gila Monster

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday the Great and Powerful

I don't have a brilliant post planned for today (please, no comments on my less-than-brilliant posts any other days). Like millions of other people who work M-F I'm thrilled that it's Friday, and even more pleased that I have nothing planned this weekend, other than church on Sunday.

Have y'all heard about Dropbox (and by the way, the month of no new Nashville episodes is pissing me off)? Anyway, this thing is freakin' cool. I installed it on my work laptop, my home laptop and my iPhone, and anything I save to Dropbox is then immediately available wherever I have it installed. It's totally free (up to a certain amount of gigabytes).

Screenshot of the iPhone

I just learned of this yesterday, but I already know it's going to be so helpful for me. For one thing, I often have to email myself Excel files or pdfs between work and home. No more. Just save it in the Dropbox and boom it's ready for me. I also set it so that any pictures I take on my iPhone will automatically upload to my Dropbox. No more emailing pics to myself or having to plug my phone in to the laptop. Just now I took these two pictures and they were ready for me on the laptop.

Views from the couch

It's entirely possible that I'm the last person on the planet to know about this, especially since I asked Aaron about it and he was all "yep, I have a Dropbox account." But just in case you weren't aware of it, you're welcome.

**I was not compensated in any way for my rave reviews here; Dropbox doesn't know who the hell I am.

That's all I have for today. Happy Friday and have a fabulous weekend!

Stay Tuned,

Confessions of a Gila Monster

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Stop #11 - Rigsby's Kitchen

Note: I've updated the "Restaurant Odyssey" page so if you've missed any previous posts or just want to relive some of our adventures, click above.

Rigsby's is something of an institution in the Short North. It's been around for over 20 years and is often considered a "go-to" restaurant for a special occasion. A couple years ago, Aaron and I chose to dine there for our joint birthday dinner. Kent Rigsby and his wife Tasi own this restaurant as well as Tasi Cafe, which was stop #9 on our tour.

On a Saturday night we went to Rigsby's with our friends Pete and Val. We've been friends with them since shortly after we were married (that's a long damn time, if you're keeping track) and we don't see them as often as we'd like, but we always have a good time.

Our expectations were somewhat high, and that's not usually a good thing. Sure enough, we had a less than awesome experience, mainly service-related. While our server was nice, our first impression wasn't great when she confused two of the before-dinner drinks (and she was writing them down).

We started with the Salumi Tasting, which was okay but basically a plate of sliced meat and nothing special.

Aaron was the only one who ordered a salad and he got the Roasted Root Vegetable Salad. He said it was pretty good, but he didn't get to finish it because our entrees arrived before he was done. Not impressive.

For our entrees (clockwise from top left): I had the Gorgonzola Pizza with fingerling potatoes; Val had the Prosciutto Pizza with (a lot of) arugula; Aaron had the Orrechiette with housemade sausage; and Pete had the Penne Carbonara. The food was all good, but not great. I don't think any of us finished our meals. I can only speak for my pizza, which I felt had uneven flavor and could have benefited from a bit more gorgonzola.

We had ordered a bottle of wine with dinner and as soon as the server brought it we told her we wanted another bottle. We also asked for more bread, which never came. And we waited and waited for the second bottle of wine but finally just cancelled it, paid the bill, and went up the street to the Local Bar for after dinner drinks.

It was a disappointing outing, especially because we had brought friends. Granted, it was a busy Saturday night, but we had arrived at 6:30, well before the crowd, and our server seemed overwhelmed. Rigsby's has a nice bar area for happy hour or late night drinks, but of the two Rigsby-owned restaurants on our tour, we preferred Tasi.

Stay Tuned,

Spidey and the Gila

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Random Gwensday, and some updates

Last week I told you about Girl Rising, a film that explores the importance of education for girls, and how difficult that can be in certain countries. I had reserved tickets for an April 1 showing in Columbus, but not enough other people did, so that showing was cancelled. I'm working on becoming a captain for another showing later in April, hoping that with more time, I'll be able to get the minimum number of tickets sold. Check back for more details.

UPDATE: I have a screening set up for Monday, April 22 at 7:30 pm at Easton. Columbus peeps, I hope to see you there! Click here to reserve your tickets, or to find another screening in your area. 

Also last week, while recapping the weekend, I talked about an uneven experience we had at the restaurant Till. I'm happy to say that one of the owners (who was not at the restaurant that night) called to apologize and sent a generous gift certificate for a future visit. We won't rush over, but we will be back; as I said, the food is phenomenal, and we're pleased with the follow up.

Now on to the "new" stuff. Supposedly today is the first day of spring. REALLY? Could have fooled me. Right now it's 28 degrees with a WIND CHILL of 21. And the high temperature will only be 35. Yesterday it was super windy and my sinuses were very angry. I shouldn't complain; the sun is shining and at least I don't have a foot of snow on the ground like some of my friends in the northeast, but STILL. 

So I suppose I should look on the bright side, as difficult as that may be. 

I'm sure MLK meant this for something much deeper and more important than my rantings about shitty weather, but it still works.

Come on, Spring. We're all waiting anxiously for your appearance!

Stay Tuned,

Confessions of a Gila Monster

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Travel Tuesday - Disney!

When I was a kid, my Grandma Tickner and my Aunt Jean moved to Florida and I got my first taste of Disney World. I was able to go several times, including once with my high school choir when we were lucky enough to perform at the Magic Kingdom. In 1997 I arranged a surprise trip for Aaron, who had never been there. On that trip we stayed in one of the resorts and had an amazing time. I could show you pictures from that, and maybe someday I will, but that would involve lots of scanning and (say it with me) ain't nobody got time for that.

Luckily we went back during the digital age. Our niece Jacqueline graduated from high school in 2011 and we started the tradition of taking our nieces and nephews on a trip of their choosing (within reason) as their graduation gift. Disney was the perfect choice for her because she's a fabulous artist, now majoring in animation, and because when she was little she used to pretend that her blanket was a magic carpet that would take us to Disney World.

We left Columbus early Thursday morning and flew to Orlando. By the way, this was Jackie's first time flying. We stayed at the Port Orleans - French Quarter resort. Tip #1: If you're staying at a Disney resort and you're flying, do NOT rent a car. There's a bus that will take you from the airport to the resort and once you're at Disney there are all kinds of ways to get from your resort to any park of your choosing.

We spent Thursday at the Magic Kingdom. One of the highlights was the Hall of Presidents. I had told Aaron and Jackie that we HAD to do it, and I know Jackie was not thrilled, but it ended up being one of her top 5 moments of the trip. One of the cool things about taking her at this age was that she had such an appreciation for how well the attractions are executed. Of course, we also rode Space Mountain and the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean and the Mad Tea Party (well, Aaron and Jackie did that; I don't do well with spinning rides).

And of course, It's a Small World:

We went back to the resort to relax for a bit because the Magic Kingdom had "extra magic hours" that night. Or so I thought. Tip #2: If you're a resort guest, you can take advantage of these extra hours. It's a different park each day and sometimes you can get in early, sometimes you can stay late. But pay close attention because I had read "Friday midnight to 3 am" and naturally assumed that meant Friday morning, so that late Thursday night you could extend your time. Wrong. It was Friday into Saturday. Oops.

Friday was spent at Epcot. I think this was the only day we got rained on but it didn't last long. Some of our favorite things here were Soarin', Mission: SPACE (in which I took the "less intense option"), Ellen's Energy Adventure and of course, all the countries. We ate lunch in Italy and dinner in Japan. Tip #3: We did a meal package and while it may have saved us some money, it was a pain to always have to figure out what fit into the plan (you can get a banana with breakfast but if you get apple slices with dipping sauce, that's extra and you don't know it until you're checking out) and then of course we scrambled toward the end to make sure we got all the meals. This probably works well for some people, but I don't think I'd do it again.

Oh, and late Friday night Jackie and I did go back to the Magic Kingdom for extra hours. Totally worth it and very fun. Riding the bus back to the resort, a little boy curled up next to Jackie and fell asleep - so cute!

Saturday we did Animal Kingdom AND Hollywood Studios. At Animal Kingdom we loved the Safari ride and were pleasantly surprised by the Lion King live show. Jackie got her face painted and Aaron tried on a funky wig.

At Hollywood Studios we took a drawing class (mine was horrible) and we loved the Tower of Terror and the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster as well as the Fantasmic show, which is quite spectacular.

Sunday was our last day and we went back to Epcot. We ate lunch in Morocco and repeated some favorite attractions. As we were leaving we saw this little boy run up to Snow White and it was just so sweet and I think the perfect picture:

We had a fantastic time. Disney is for kids and adults alike. Their attention to detail is incredible. Tip #4: If you can afford it, stay one day longer than you think you should. You'll thank me later.

I think she enjoyed herself!

Stay Tuned,

Confessions of a Gila Monster

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Paddy's Weekend Shenanigans

I'm not Irish and I don't make a big deal of St. Patrick's Day, but it happens to be our niece Julia's birthday, which is super cool. She turned eight this year. We sent her a bracelet (made by Debbie Rae Designs) and a gift card to Justice. She insisted on going shopping immediately and the picture below is what she chose.

Other things that went on over the weekend:

Friday was pretty low key. We ordered a pizza and watched some TV and both fell asleep before 10, although then I woke up at 1:00 and watched Back to the Future on TV.


I donated blood, then met my mom for lunch at California Pizza Kitchen (though neither of us had pizza; Mom had a roasted beet & goat cheese salad with tortilla soup and I had the Moroccan chicken salad), I splurged and used a gift card and got a new bag and wallet at Fossil (the picture doesn't do the color justice - it's very springy!), I also picked up a book on the $5 table at Barnes & Noble, and I painted my nails (Revlon Nail Art Moon Candy in Meteor).

A few friends came over to watch the OSU/MSU basketball game, then some of those friends and Aaron went to the Bluejackets hockey game and I met up with some neighbors at Seventh Son, a bar that's a mere two blocks from home.

Sunday we did the church thing and had a short rehearsal afterward, then rushed home and went to World of Beer where Aaron and Colin ran the Shamrock 10K (Amy and I hung out at the bar during the race).

Post-race pic
The four of us then went home to watch the Big Ten championship game and Selection Sunday, then to Jennifer and Jason's for a potluck St. Patrick's dinner.

A busy and fun weekend. I didn't even get a nap, which is unheard of in my world.

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

Stay Tuned,
Signature1 photo Signature1_zps29d350a7.png